Brooklyn Brewery war correspondents: Philip Gourevitch on the Rwandan genocide (VIDEO).

The Misguided Notion That Our “Common Humanity” Protects Us Against Genocide 

The Misguided Notion That Our “Common Humanity” Protects Us Against Genocide 

Dispatches from the front.
Sept. 24 2014 1:12 PM

“I Really Couldn’t Get My Mind Around What Had Happened” 

Why Philip Gourevitch kept going back to Rwanda. 

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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this fourth installment, Steve Hindy, founder of Brooklyn Brewery and a former Associated Press foreign correspondent, sits down Philip Gourevitch, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda.

Philip Gourevitch’s book on the Rwandan genocide, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, put the complexities of an unthinkable event into words like few writers before him had been able to do. In the clip above, Gourevitch reflects on why, in May 1995, he initially went to Rwanda, and what it was that kept him coming back. He also discusses the conflict, the disappointing ability of the world to turn a blind eye to the crisis, and the false notion that a shared humanity is enough to prevent—or, in the case of Rwanda, put a stop to—a burgeoning genocide.

A.J. McCarthy is a Slate writer and producer.

Andy Zhao is a Slate Video intern.